Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When raids fail.

Like most of us, I love to raid. While it isn't the be all end all of WoW, it is definitely one of the things that keep us all coming back for more. Over the past couple of days I have been in a very successful raid and a very unsuccessful one, and it got me thinking about the differences between the two.

I was reminded of Larisa's post about a raid's mental mana. A successful raid definitely needs to keep it's mental mana up, and while this is everyone's responsibility, there are definitely the spreists of the group who help everyone around them with mental mana regen.

These are the jokers, the ones with kind words and gentle encouragement, the friendly raiders who get on well with everyone. All successful raid groups have people filling this role, even if they don't realise it.

I can think of another analogy that is apt here as well. A raid needs mental mana to be sure, but it also needs attack power. I see a raids attack power as a measure of it's ability to hit bosses hard and fast with everything it's got. To build your raid's attack power requires a couple of things from everybody, mainly preparation and concentration.

As an example, last night Vision downed Kael'thas. A second kill for Vision, and a first for me. This was a super fun and successful raid, and while we did wipe a few times, this is Kael we are dealing with. Nobody was expecting a one shot, everyone was expecting a challenge, and everybody was hungry for the kill. Thus we came prepared, we were on our A game.

What we brought to the raid was our maximum attack power, ensuring maximum effectiveness from all 25 of us. People were focused. People were paying attention. People were concentrating, and giving their all.

Kael'thas died with 24 raiders left standing and plenty of mental mana left over.

There was much rejoicing and dancing in the Keep.

A stark contrast to our Sunday night raid..

On Sunday, there was a plan. Take out Fathomlord in SSC for those of us who needed him as part of the medaillion of karabor questline. From there we go to TK and down alar, also for the SR questline, and then we were to return on Monday to finish Kael, for those of us who still needed it for the Vials of Eternity quest.

Unfortunately, on the Sunday, the raid attack power was very low. The overall attitude wasn't right. People weren't focused, people weren't prepared. This raid was born to fail.

Naturally we wiped on our first attempt, even though this was only Fathomlord, a boss we have had no issues with for a long long time. At this point, we developed mental mana leaks.

If it weren't for the mana leaks, we might have got by, even with our relatively low attack power. Considering our current level of progression, even on half attack power Fathomlord shouldn't have presented a problem. Unfortunately, people started to get annoyed with one another. People weren't following instructions, attacking the wrong targets, standing in the wrong place. People's mana levels were very low.

Another wipe, worse than the first.

I noticed around this point that some of our key spriests weren't present. Nobody was settling disputes calmly and fairly. Nobody was trying to encourage the hopeless with positive words. Nobody was cracking jokes and keeping things fun. Things were going downhill fast.

After another wipe or two this situation deteriorated further until some raiders were starting to become outright hostile to one another and the raid leader himself was going OOM. Not good.

Personally im not the mental mana battery type. I tend to keep my trap shut and do my job, and focus on that. I look after my own mental mana but primarily I bring maximum attack power to a raid. I prepare, focus and concentrate. I'm not, however, always concious of how other people are doing, and I'm not the guy who makes everyone laugh out loud every night. Thus I didn't feel like I could do much to help this situation with Fathomlord, aside from doing my bit.

Thankfully, we eventually killed him. Something about the raid leader announcing that "this will be our last attempt" really gets us into gear as a group. It's almost like a flask for the entire raid. Everyone concentrates a little more, and tries a little harder. Once it looks like the entire night might become a complete waste, even the slackers get off their asses and give it their best shot.

I think after the first bunch of wipes the handful of newbies we had along also had figured out where to stand and what to attack. One way or another Fathomlord was down, and we were set to take out Alar, according to plan... just as soon as the loot got sorted out...

... Except we had a loot dispute. A stupid one as well. Unfortunately it divided the raid, as some believed that person A was in the wrong, while the rest of us thought that person A was doing the right thing and person B was in the wrong. I won't go into details of the actual dispute, as that isn't relevant. The effect of this dispute on the group, however, is.

It was the ultimate mana drain for the group. After 10 minutes of arguments over vent, our raid leader (bless his patient soul) was forced to call the raid. There was no way we were going to have any kind of success in our current state.

Raid officially failed.

Raid attack power too low, mental mana regen non-existant.


LarĂ­sa said...

Thanks for giving some more love to that post of mine... :)
And for adding the pictuere of attack power in the raid. I really liked that one. You can't down a boss merely on raid mana, you need that edge as well.
Said end of the story though. I hope you'll recover...

Anonymous said...

yeah hope the raid drops a few pots before next attempt.. gl